I have the opportunity to work within our local prison system and was spending a bit of time thinking about some of the opening conversations I would have with these men. The reason for my involvement is to help create a powerful new paradigm for them so that long before the gates on the prison opened and they walked out, these men were already free.
What struck me powerfully is that as an inmate of a prison, your loss of freedom is tangible, but for us that have "freedom," our prison is not so obvious. As an inmate, you can see the guards, the gates and the barbed wire. You see the other inmates dressed like you, showing no vulnerability like you, using the same language as you, all following the rules of the prison society with little or no choice in things being any different. Every day you are reminded of your crimes, every day is filled with guilt, loss of freedom, loss of choice, and in order to function we push those feelings down so all we are left with is anger, resentment or despair.
So other than the gates, guards and barbed wire, how is this different than the world outside of the prison? Much of society is trapped within "prisons of their own making", whether it be debt, poor health, failing relationships, and like the inmates in the prison, we are reminded every day of our crimes. We live in guilt, no sense of personal freedom, we feel like we have no choices, and we respond with anger, resentment, and despair.
What I have known for years, but seemingly am just experiencing for the first time again, is that in order for me to have the life that I desire, to be debt free, to have truly powerful relationships, to live inspired every day, I must be able to live in the emotions of that reality. In fact, I must practice living in the emotions of the very life I desire to have become reality so that my mind and soul are living that possibility long before the outer world matches my inner desires.
If I feel the feelings that I had felt for years, the feelings associated with loss, debt, and shame, then those feelings can only serve to influence my behavior in ensuring that more of that reality shows up. What I feel is what I see.
But when I start practicing the feelings associated with abundance, love, and inspiration, then those feelings will serve to influence my behavior in ensuring that more of that reality shows up. What I feel is what I see.
Life is too short to remain a prison of our own making, so maybe today is the day to start thinking about what you have been feeling, and to start feeling your way to freedom.
Your Fellow Traveler,
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